Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Perfect Brightness of Hope


I can scarcely believe that tomorrow marks 38 weeks!  Mei-mei looked great at yesterday's appointment.  One way or another, she should be here NEXT WEEK!!  With my two full-term pregnancies, labor started spontaneously by 38w5d, though neither kid was actually born until 39 weeks thanks to super long labors.  Hopefully labor will start on its own again this time - and be much quicker!  If not, the plan is to go to the hospital on Thursday night of next week to be induced.  

I really hope to avoid a C-section.  I thought that if it did end up going that way, at least I could get the worst of the endo mess cleaned out and maybe have less pain and a better quality of life down the road.  But my doctor said they actually don't try to fix endo damage when a C-section is done because of the high risk of bleeding and infection.  So that's all the more incentive to go natural even if it does drag on and on again.

As excited as I am over Mei-mei's impending arrival, I'm also sad because I'll never be pregnant again.  Aside from the anxiety, I feel fantastic when I'm pregnant and my endometriosis is in remission.  Pregnancy discomfort sure beats being in constant pain that can last for months at a time.  I wish I could feel this good forever.

So ... one more appointment.  Maybe two.  And then I hope to post some very happy news.  Right now, hope is cutting through all the dark clouds that have shadowed recent years and I am loving every second of it!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

All We Need is the Baby Girl We Love

It's been four years today since I left the hospital for the second time with an empty belly and empty arms.  Four long hard years since we lost Miles.  Sitting here today, it's hard to believe that the possibility of a happy ending for my family is now so close.  I can only say it's a "possibility" as I'm so keenly aware that bringing Mei-mei home is not a sure thing, not even at this point and not even after such a shockingly normal pregnancy.

Even though there are high hopes for a happy ending, I dare not buy any baby gear.  Luckily, we do still have baby clothes and a crib (not set up, and won't be until she comes home!).  We don't have a carseat or diapers. While I'm in the hospital, Q will have to go shopping for these things we want so desperately to need.  Other stuff we can get later on - stroller, high chair, etc.  I gave our old ones away to charity long ago, knowing that we'd be only too delighted to spend money buying new ones if we ever got the chance.   A baby shower has been mentioned but I absolutely cannot entertain such an idea.  All we really need is the baby girl we love to be here with us safe and sound.  Everything else is just minor details.

Next week I'll get the results of the Group B Strep culture.  Since I've always tested positive before I expect the same results, which will mean an IV with antibiotics.  One more needle is hardly a big deal at this point, but I was disappointed that the test ended my wonderful 6 month + 1 week stretch out of the stirrups.  *Sigh*  The last time I made it that long was over 6 years ago.  I wonder when/if I will ever be so lucky again.

Also this week I switched from 40mg Lovenox 1x daily to 5000 IU Heparin 2x daily.  Remembering twice a day is tricky, so I'm once again relying on my cell phone alarm.  Baby aspirin is discontinued until post-delivery.  Now I'm down to just 13 pills a day - yay!  These are all supplements recommended by my doctor - prenatal vitamin, calcium, Omega-3, folic acid, and vitamin D.  Post-delivery plan is to resume aspirin for the rest of my life - and that's it!  Unless I end up with a c-section - then I'd have to continue with blood thinner shots for another six weeks.  I actually still have all my used needles and syringes and will turn them in at the clinic after photographing them at the end.  What I have now is plenty to make for a very dramatic photo, so I hope not to add any more to the collection after Mei-mei arrives!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Fat and Happy

We've almost made it to the 36 week mark and Mei-mei continues to score 10 out of 10 on her bi-weekly tests!  Yesterday I got the annoying and worrisome "You're so small!" comment again while at the grocery store.  Am I? You can see for yourself by looking at a few of the maternity pics from last week.  I think my belly looks fine for 35 weeks along and the rest of me looks pretty fat as well, especially my face.  I'm hauling around an extra 40 pounds.  Oh well, I'm fat and happy!  And I have an effective weight loss plan.

Q and I both measured our girth last night and I'm sorry to say that Q still has me beat by four inches.  His weight loss plan has not been so effective.  Perhaps it would help if I found a better hiding place for the delicious cookies I baked.

No, this is not us.  Our bellies are WAY scarier.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Professional Worrier

Last week Q and I went on a tour of the hospital birth center.  When Mei-mei is born it will be my fifth visit to Labor and Delivery (!!), with each one at a different hospital.  This hospital happens to be right across the street from the fertility clinic where Mei-mei began, which seems fitting.  I'm starting to get a little worked up about the actual birth.  Obviously, worrying about this is a welcome improvement over just constantly worrying that the baby will die.  I still worry about that, but the worry has gotten smaller so there's room in my head for other worries, too!  Here's a small sampling:

Where will my two kids go while Mei-mei is being born?  I thought maybe my mother-in-law could come up for a week or two, but do I really want that?  We're already very short on space and don't have an extra bed in the little duplex we're renting.

My doctor said the plan is not to induce but to wait for spontaneous labor.  How much of labor would I dare do at home?  Too much time at the hospital and I risk overzealous intervention; too much time at home and I risk not having enough intervention if things start going wrong.  Either way I'm sure to be gripped by crushing anxiety!  I prefer natural birth if possible, but the C-section rate is really high (30+%) and even higher for pregnancies that follow loss, since the parents and doctors are on such high alert and ready to intervene at any sign of trouble.

And what happens if labor drags on and on, as it did with my first two kids?  With baby #1, I labored for well over 30 hours with no painkillers before he was finally born.  Baby #2 was an attempted home birth (this is back when I trusted my body to do what it's supposed to do - ha!) with over 30 hours of labor at home.  At the hospital I had an epidural and pitocin for the last hour as a successful last-ditch effort to avoid a C-section.  I really need the whole thing to move along faster this time!

What if I can't function for months after the birth?  I anticipate more demon portal trouble and I kind of need to be able to walk.

What if I end up with a C-section?  Q would go with the baby and I would be on my own in the OR for reassembly and cleanup.  Thanks to endometriosis, I suspect my insides are quite a mess.  What if the doctor thinks it's a good idea to start chopping out more pieces of me, particularly my lone ovary which is afflicted with endometriomas.  Even though my lady parts are essentially useless for further babymaking, I'd rather not deal with hysterectomy/menopause just now.  Why is the idea of going from infertility to sterility just SO sad, even though the end result with both is the same for me - no more babies?

Next up:  Our maternity photo shoot on Thursday!  Also possibly making a birth plan.  I had a one page birth plan for my first two kids, but now it just seems kind of silly.  Birth? Plan? Me?